Wit of The Staircase
10.22.2015 - 11.21.2015

Christina Quisumbing Ramilo

Wit of the Staircase

Our natural inclination for order presupposes that the experience of life consists of raw and random encounters. What should hence be admirable is not the ability to make sense, but to carry it out eloquently at the time when it is most appropriate.
Such is the stuff that outlives us: good ideas, good art, and wit, which, unfortunately, are uncommon. They are the residual consequence of practice abundant with attempts, mistakes, miscalculations and blunders. And the tragedy is this: we are able to overcome them, but rarely at the right moment. There is a term for this. The Wit of the Staircase. This is also the titular concept of Christina Quisumbing Ramilo’s upcoming exhibit at Art Informal.
The show lays bare a collection of works that imaginatively re-purpose what is abandoned, discarded, remembered, recovered, saved, and loved, sometimes a little too late.

words by Leo Abaya

Filling Up The Big Room
10.22.2015 - 11.21.2015

Pam Yan-Santos

In Pam Yan-Santos’ Filling Up the Big Room, a series of paintings and installation take the viewers inside her home and back to her childhood, inviting them to see things in a way that most have forgotten—through the child’s eyes. The artist revisits familiar spaces in the household that are seemingly shadowed by a sense of loss and hollowness.  There is a certain silence that echoes in these spaces—one that is serene and effervescent at the same time. The emptiness of the rooms is filled with green grass sprouting from the floor, breathing life into the void. Carefree scribbles and childlike drawings enrich the vintage furniture, giving a glimpse of the innocent beginnings that these spaces have witnessed. The collection of images composed on the canvases not only fill the void of the physical spaces, but also embraces the viewers with a sense of nostalgia and wonder for what beautiful memories were created and shared in these rooms.
words by Angelyn P. Marquez

Violent Noon
10.22.2015 - 11.21.2015

Kitty Kaburo

In Violent Noon, her first solo exhibition, young artist Kitty Kaburo uses time lapse video and mixed media pieces that refer to each other, depicting the slow, gradual, uneventful but eventual transformation of objects, places and temperaments through the use of materials that interact with the environment, such as melting ice and paint on various surfaces. Thus, actively decaying artworks serve both as mirrors and as distorting lens to look at the ties that as much bind as destroy relationships, when city and nature clash and concord.
Violent Noon transports the story of extreme heat followed by the great deluge and followed by the rainbow’s promise into interpretations of the digitally altered and filtered visuals received by today’s 21st century urban dweller -- imagery tinged with Ballardian undertones. 
Kaburo’s appropriation of a J.G. Ballard title for the collection hints at a commentary of how current metropolitan life is actually already a dystopia of bleak surroundings punctuated by the effects of technological, social and environmental neuroses.
Pieces that portray tiny multimedia fragments of urban icons and scenes (“Ghost Citizens”, “Rainbow Express”, “Without Incident”) still feel claustrophobic and disquieting, although surrounded by vast empty space all around.  These pieces also reflect the metro’s infatuation with stiff grids and clashing, ‘happy’ colours in its attempt to simultaneously convey both order and festivity, none of which is really felt by its inhabitants nor by the viewer.  In fact, these elements contribute more to a sense of menace that Kaburo “freezes” into pastiches of moments captured just before or right after an imminent danger.
In contrast, “More Like Everything Else”, the sole piece dominated by greens, makes use of all available space in its frame, and yet conveys the most breathable/breathing space. The scene, though, is still ripe with a sense of foreboding, as nature looks to be preparing to lash back with an extreme weather event.  Kaburo renders this not just through the initial 2D painting, but through the added dimension of melting ice and paint cubes, which can be interpreted as either melting polar caps or the transfiguration of cubicle space.  For the artist, both are cause and both are effects.
Finally, the centrepiece of Kaburo’s exhibition, a time-lapse video of sky and trees captured through a screen of melting ice and punctuated by a sound score from nature taking the place of urban white noise, is itself the marriage of technology and nature, of selfie and voyeur, of past predictions and current regrets.
Violent Noon, as the interlocking of nature’s and civilization’s horns, becomes wish-fulfilment in Kaburo’s multimedia landscape of patchwork textures and abandoned attempts to fight grime and decay.

words by JP Agcaoili


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